UK Standard Visitor Visa

Standard Visitor Visa UK

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the Business Visitor Visa, Family Visitor Visa, Child Visitor visa, Student Visitor Visa (up to 6 months), Sports Visitor visa, Entertainer Visitor visa, Prospective Entrepreneur visa, Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa.

How it works

This visa permits you to conduct permitted business activities in the UK and doing activities in the UK as a part of an overseas job role for a period of up to six months.

If your business requires you to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a visa that lasts two, five, or ten years. However, you can only stay for a maximum of six months on each visit.

Academics coming to the UK on a sabbatical or exchange arrangement can apply for either 6 months or 12 months, subject to meeting the requirements. A senior doctor or dentist can also come to take part in research, teach or undertake clinical practice (as long as it is not a permanent position.
It is recommended that the visa application is prepared diligently because at times, visas are getting refused for even a small error.

What Can You Do When You Are on a UK Standard Visitor Visa?

You can apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa if you are:

  • Travelling to the UK for holiday or vacation or seeing your family or friends
  • Volunteering with a registered charity for up to 30 days
  • Transiting to another country via the UK
  • Coming to the UK for attending a conference, meeting, training, seminar and interview
  • Negotiating and signing deals and contracts
  • Attending trade fairs to promote your business (you cannot sell things)
  • Carrying out site visits and inspections or overseeing the delivery of goods and services provided by a UK company to your overseas company or organisation
  • Coming to the UK to install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software and hardware, if your overseas company has a contract with a UK company or organisation
  • Seeking to obtain funding or investment to start, take over a business in the UK
  • Delivering training or sharing knowledge internally with UK employees of the company you work for overseas
  • Giving a one-off or short series of talks if it is not a commercial event and not for profit (you cannot accept payment)
  • Coming to the UK as an artist, entertainer or musician to perform for a one-off or specific event
  • Attending a work-related training if you are employed overseas and the training is not available in your home country, for example, training for the merchant navy professionals
  • Studying the English language or a short course at an accredited institution
  • Doing short research which is relevant to your overseas course or doing an elective if you are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, nursing or dentistry
  • Sitting an entrance exam, retaking an exam or course module, or attending a PhD viva
  • Doing a placement or taking an exam, for example, taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for qualified foreign doctors and nurses, and Bar Transfer Test (BTT) to become a barrister or Qualifying Law Transfer Scheme (QLTS) to become a solicitor for qualified foreign lawyers
  • Coming to the UK as an academic, senior doctor or dentist on an exchange agreement with UK counterparts, or conducting research during a sabbatical, or accompanying students on a study abroad program or even teaching or undertaking clinical practice
  • Coming to the UK as a doctor or dentist to take an unpaid clinical attachment or observer post
  • Coming to the UK to have private medical treatment at a private hospital or at an NHS hospital as long as the treatment is paid by your government under healthcare agreement or to donate an organ to a family member or a close friend subject to a donor match

What Can You not Do When Are on a UK Standard Visitor Visa?

You cannot do the following activities if you are on a UK Standard Visitor Visa:

  • You cannot work (paid or unpaid) for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • You cannot claim benefits
  • You cannot live in the UK for long periods by regular visits
  • You can pay for your onward journey
  • You cannot marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership. If you would like to marry or register a civil partnership, you will need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining the UK Standard Visitor Visa?

To apply for a UK Standard Visit Visa, you need to prove the following:

  • Your intentions of coming to the UK, and this will depend on your needs, such as visiting for business purposes, visiting family or leisure
  • You will need to evidence that you have planned to leave the UK after this time, and this should not exceed six months
  • You have money to support and accommodate yourself and your dependents without relying on any public funds in the UK
  • You can pay for your return or onward journey
  • In the event you will be coming for business reasons, you must ensure that you will be conducting permitted business activities only
  • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through regular or successive visits or make the UK your main home
  • In the case of long-term UK Standard Visitor Visa, reasons that you are required to frequently visit the UK for permitted business purposes

Please note that there are additional requirements if you are applying to study or take an exam, or as an academic, doctor or dentist or for medical reasons. For example, if you are a doctor taking PLAB exam, you will need to provide a letter from the General Medical Council confirming your PLAB test registration, or, if you are visiting the UK for medical reasons, you will required to provide evidence to show that you have made arrangements for consultations or treatment, and you have enough money to pay for your treatment, and will leave the UK once your treatment is completed, or when your visa expires, and you are not a danger to public health.

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